Saturday brought with it relief to thousands of area allergy sufferers, as lower morning temperature and winds manifested a low to no grass pollen count.
Following 10 days of a near record grass pollen count for much of the Willamette Valley and Western Oregon, the Weather Channel reported a low count Saturday for the region. This is one of the tougher grass allergy seasons in memory for many living in Eugene, with late rains of spring bringing a bumper grass and seed crop to the region.
Severe grass and tree pollen allergy is no jokin matter in a region that is known for forest and 2 to 3 grass hay cuttings per season. Linn County, the “Grass Seed Capital of the World,” is no more than 30 miles to the north of Eugene, Springfield, Or.. For area allergy sufferers, late spring rain and high winds bring days of iritating allergy simptoms. "Hay Feaver" is not a myth. As a fellow sufferer I can tell you that grass and tree pollen allergy can be debilitating.
According to long time Eugene area resident Nancy King: “living downwind of Linn County can be hazardous to one’s health.” Ms King is an allergy sufferer and toughs it out for 2 or 3 months per year with the help of antihistamine tablets and nose spray. She talks about moving, but loves the early spring, late summer and fall months in Western Oregon, says Ms. King.
Looking through my window to the world, I can see pollen clouds drifting across the Crow Valley watershed. That beautiful red sunset viewed to the west is often filtered through pollen drifts.
Latter in the year Lane and Linn County residents will be treated to smoke filled skies caused by the burning of grass fields. According to area grass farmers, burning is the most cost effective method of germinating the fields for next seasons grass seed crop. A movement continues to outlaw slash burning in Western Oregon, but while the activity has been limited in recent years, it continues in both Lane and Linn County.
Looking to the extended weather forecast, those suffering from grass allergy may expect a 7 day reprieve as we come into the first week of June.